It took Max a little longer to check out the uncle’s place, on the account Max couldn’t find his OWN place in order to change. He finally found the apartment of a John Patrick, Susan Hilton’s uncle. He unlocked the door and found the place in shambles. Chairs and tables were overturned, papers lay everywhere, glasses lay broken on the floor.
“When I meet Mr. Patrick, perhaps I can interest him in hiring a maid.”
Max closed the door behind him and started going through the debris. He ran across some various papers and some designs, but he couldn’t find anything concrete. Until he started looking into Patrick’s desk drawer. Max was just about to give up the search, when he came across an address on an index card.
“4534 W. Palm” Max read. Just then, Max heard the doorknob start to shake. Max quickly put the card in his pocket and looked for a hiding place. He found one looking at the closet and quickly got in. The door opened and two seedy looking men came in.
“You think it’s here?” one man asked.
“It’s gotta be.” The other said. Both men started to give the place a going over.
“It’s not in his desk.” One said.
“Let’s check his bedroom.” The other replied. “Maybe it’s in there.”
The two men headed for the bedroom and Max saw his chance to leave. He slipped quietly out of the closet and out of the apartment. Max left the building and headed down the street to his office. Across the street, in a phone booth, a man was inside using the phone.
“Smart just left here, but there are two other guys in the apartment.”
The scene quickly moves back to the Sing Sing Sing Club, where Zachary is on the phone. “Really.” He said, thinking about where Max could be going. “Stay on him. I’ll take care of the others.” Zachary hung up the phone.
“There are a couple of guys in John Patrick’s apartment.” Zachary turned slightly, revealing that he’s talking to Austin and Maxine.
“Take care of them.”
Max returned to his office and saw Trudi on the phone. “He just walked in, Ms. Hilton.” Trudi replied, handing the phone over to Max.
“Mr. Smart, I’m so glad you’re in.” came the voice. “I was wondering if you found anything at John’s apartment.”
“Yes, Susan, I did.” Max said, removing the card from his pocket. “I found an address in his desk drawer and quickly left the scene before I was discovered by two of his friends.”
“How do you mean?” she asked.
“I’ll tell you when I see you. Right now, I’m going to check out this address. I’ll call you if I find out anything more.” Max hung up the phone and looked at Trudi. “Trudi, I have a very important question for you.”
“I have a very important answer.” The girl retorted.
Is this the same Trudi? Max asked himself.
“See this card?” Max asked, handing her the card. “I need to know exactly where that address is.”
“No problem.” Trudi said. “It’s the address of the Palm Pier. You found this in the uncle’s apartment?”
“Yes,” Max said, thinking. “And while I was there, two other guys came in and did another going over. I’m curious to know why John Patrick has the address of the pier on an index card in his desk. And who those other two guys were and why they were there.”
“You want me to do surveillance at the pier?” Trudi asked. Max was shocked.
Trudi knows the definition of the word surveillance?
“Um…yeah, Trudi.” Max said, not sure if this was a completely insane thing for him to be doing. “If you don’t mind.”
“Mind?” The girl asked, opening the top drawer of her desk and removing a gun. “What’s a secretary for?”
Max was stunned, but not as stunned as when he saw that gun she had taken out of her desk. “Hey, what’s that?” he asked.
“Offhand, I’d call it a gun.” Trudi responded, sarcastically.
Max smirked at the comment. He was actually starting to like this Trudi and it certainly proved to him that this was DEFINITELY a dream. “Don’t you know that little girls shouldn’t play with guns?” Max retorted.
“Well Boss, you’re in luck.” Trudi said, grabbing her jacket and putting it on. “I’m a big girl now.” She walked to the door, but stopped to give Max more information. “Don’t forget to lock up when or IF you decide to go home tonight.”
She again walked to the door, this time opening it, but again stopped to address Max. “And no hanky panky business while I’m gone.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.” Trudi left and closed the door behind her. Yep. Max liked her. Better than the old Trudi anyways.
Max decided he’d do some surveillance of his own, by checking into the background of one John Patrick. He started by calling the police and asking if they had a missing persons on him. They did and it was called in by a Ms. Susan Hilton.
Well, that checks out, Max thought. He then called the US agency of intelligence to see whether or not Mr. Patrick was really a spy. They said no comment. Well, this proves he was either really a spy or they just don’t want to talk to me.
Max chalked it up Patrick was really a spy. He hadn’t been off the phone for more than a minute, when it rang, with Trudi on the other end.
“Mr. Smart, I thought you should know, I think you’re being tailed.”
“Why do you say that?” Max asked.
“Cause this guy has been following me ever since I left the office. It was like he was waiting for me.”
“Is he posing a danger?”
“Not really, but I thought you ought to know.”
“Where are you right now, Trudi?” Max asked.
“I’m at the pier as we speak. And, the address you gave matches this bar.”
“What kind of bar is it?”
“Seedy. Very seedy. It’s the mecca of all criminal types.” Trudi said. “If the uncle was hanging out, he couldn’t possibly have been a saint. Unless he was involved in something way too deep for him to get out of.”
Max thought about this new information. Could it be 99 was holding out on him? “Okay, Trudi.” He said, finally. “Stay there and keep in touch.” Max hung up the phone and began thinking again. The best way to get to the bottom of this was to find John Patrick!
Max left quickly and headed back over to Patrick’s apartment. He checked around outside to make sure he wasn’t being followed. Making sure everything was clear, he quickly went up. He unlocked the door and went in. He noticed the boys from earlier had really given the place the going over and obviously came up with nothing.
Max started to walk towards the desk when he tripped over something and fell. He looked over and saw he had tripped over a body. And not just a body, one of the baddies from earlier. He quickly looked around to see if he could find the other one. He did, in the bedroom, hung by an extension cord.
He gulped silently as he questioned if this case was really worth being hung by an extension cord. He decided to give both bodies a quick search, but he certainly was not going to enjoy it. A careful research revealed both men worked for a Mr. Jonathon Charles.
Max went to the phone book and made a call to Mr. Charles and found the line was busy. Max then made another call, to the police and told them of the mess they would find and then took off before they could get suspicious of him. He made his way back to his office, where he found Susan Hilton waiting for him.
“Oh, Mr. Smart, I’m so glad to see you.” She said, as she embraced him. That was awfully quick work. Max figured he wouldn’t get the girl until the end of the case.
“What…seems to be the problem?” he asked, shocked and surprised.
“I just received a phone call saying Uncle John is a prisoner and if I don’t hand over a million dollars, they’ll have him killed.”
Max, quickly opened the door to the office with one hand and held Susan with the other around her shoulders. “Now, just calm down.” He instructed, leading her to the couch. “Who is they?”
“They wouldn’t say.” She replied, sniffing and taking the tissue Max offered her. “They just said if I didn’t hand over the money tonight, by tomorrow Uncle John would be dead.”
“I don’t understand it, Susan.” Max said, pacing around the room. “Who would hate your uncle so much to kill him? And why come to you for money? Why not get John to do it instead? Are you sure your uncle had no enemies?”
“None that I know of.” Susan replied. “Oh Max, who could do this?”
Max walked over to her and kneeled down beside her. “Look, why don’t you go home and we’ll try to figure this thing out tomorrow. Okay?”
Susan smiled, her bright blue twinkling as she did. “Oh Max, you’re so sweet. I wish there was something I could do to thank you.”
There were several things she could do, Max thought. But he’d be willing to settle for just one. He looked at her intensely and hope she had the same thing on her mind that he had on his.
This was confirmed as she leaned in closer to him, her eyes closing, her lips getting closer and closer, the phone ringing in the distance…wait a minute. Max and Susan eyed the phone as it continued to ring.
“I do believe that’s your phone, Mr. Smart.” Susan said, clearing her throat.
“Yes,” Max said, laughing slightly. “My phone.” He looked back at her and noticed her starting to blush.
“Well, I should probably leave.” She stated, standing up and trying to maneuver out of Max’s way. “I have dinner plans with Victor tonight.”
With the mere mention of the man’s name, Max became jealous, while Susan exhibited more blushing. Perhaps for an act she almost committed or the fact that she had wanted to do it.
“You’d better answer that.” She said, implying the phone was still ringing and Max was making no attempts to answer it.
“You’re probably right.” He said, standing up. “I’ll…see you tomorrow, Ms. Hilton.”
“Good night, Mr. Smart.” She said, before exiting.
Max answered the phone, highly annoyed that someone would call during a critical moment in his day. “Hello?” Max asked, rather annoyed.
“Hello, Mr. Smart?” Max recognized the voice immediately. It was Trudi and for once, he was happy to hear from her.
“Trudi! Is everything okay?”
“So far, so good.” Trudi said, happily. “I staked out that bar, but no signs of the uncle.”
“Well, I got news about that. Ms. Hilton was just here and she just got a call from someone who said if a million dollars wasn’t delivered tonight, Patrick would be dead tomorrow.”
“Whoa. This looks like a serious case, huh, Boss?”
“You bet your sweet girly gun.” Max said. “I don’t think she’ll put up the money though.”
In the home of Ms. Susan Hilton, a small group of people sat around the living, more importantly, around the young woman who’s living room they were in. “I really think this is the best thing, Slim.” The voice belonged to Zachary, who stood over her, watching her count money.
“You don’t really think they’d hurt him, do you?”
“Of course not, Susan.” That voice came from a man in a chair, but whose face we can not see. “It’s an idle threat to see if you really will put up the money.”
“I agree.” Zachary said. “Besides, the best thing in these cases is to just do what they want. Kidnappers aren’t heartless individuals. They’re just greedy.”
Susan put the money she had counted into a bag and handed it to Zachary. “Now remember his instructions.” She said, leading him to the door.
“Slim, don’t worry about it. I remember everything the guy said. I’ll make sure he gets this and you get your uncle back.” He kissed her on the cheek and then left.
“I hope he’ll be alright.”
“Susan, you’re worrying over nothing. Everything will be fine.”
The next morning, Max wasn’t at all surprised to see Susan walk into his office. Max was sitting in his leather chair behind the desk, when she came in. “You know,” he started, giving her his sliest smile. “We really should stop meeting like this.”
“Oh?” she asked, taking a seat on his desk. “Can you think of somewhere better to meet?”
“I can.” Max said, smiling at her.
Susan turned her head and blushed, finally catching the flirtatious tone in his voice. “I paid the money last night.” She said, finally composing herself.
“Really.” Max said, hiding his shock and somewhat disappointed tone. “Well…” he replied, taking a breath in and letting it out.
“You don’t approve?” she countered, catching the disappointed nature of the breath.
“I just wish you had let me take that money out. Who knows what’s going on with it? And besides, you have no idea who these people are.” He covered her hand with his and gave it a quick squeeze. “I just want to make you’re all right, that’s all.”
She looked down at his hand on hers and quickly moved it, as she stood up. “I’ll be fine, Max. Look, I have some errands to run, but you promised you’d tell me everything that happened yesterday.”
“Okay.” Max said, taking the opportunity to finally get this woman alone. “How about lunch?”
“Perfect.” She said, heading for the door. “If you need me before then, Mr. Smart, just whistle.” She stopped short and turned around to look at him with one of THOSE looks. “You…do know how to whistle, don’t you, Mr. Smart? You just put your lips together…and blow.”
With those words, Ms. Susan Hilton left a shocked and rather, excited, Maxwell Smart sitting at his desk and drooling over her. She made sure to walk extra slow, so he could watch her leave. Max sat back in his chair and started breathing again.
“That woman’s going to get me killed.” He said, finally. He then thought about it and smiled. “And…loving it.”
That afternoon, Max met Susan in the park for lunch. They choose a bench and she even made a bag lunch for him. “I wasn’t sure exactly what you wanted.” She said, handing him a bag. “I wanted it to be a surprise.”
“Well, whatever you made will certainly be good.” He smiled, flashing her his best smile. They sat down and Max opened the bag. Low and be hold, was a ham, turkey, and provolone sandwich, with lettuce, tomatoes, and mustard. That was his favorite type of sandwich and Susan Hilton had known it, just like 99 would. Max was convinced now that this dream would have a very happy ending.
“I hope you like it.”
“I do.” Max said, staring dreamily into her eyes. “In fact, it’s my favorite.”
“Really?” She asked, shocked. Max smiled. Surely she would find that to be very odd indeed. “How odd.” Max’s smile got bigger. “It’s Victor’s favorite, too.”
Max suddenly had lost his appetite. His smile disappeared as he took a small bite out of the sandwich this woman had made for him. Based on the very fact that it was her fiancée’s favorite type of sandwich!!
Oh, you’re a cruel brain, Brain, Max thought, chewing his food in frustrated silence. Max told her about the things that happened yesterday, including finding the two bad guys that had been in her uncle’s apartment dead.
“This case is getting more mysterious by the minute.” Susan said, intrigued by the whole. “You know what I think we should do?” Tell Victor it’s over between you two and run off and get married? Max thought. “I think we should go down to that bar on the pier.”
Not exactly the same thought I had been having, Max thought. “All right.” He said, tossing his bag into the trashcan. “While we’re there, we can look over that pier.”
“Right!” The two got up and headed for the pier.
The Washington Palm Pier. The pier was a mixture of a seaside hang out and a parking garage. The two started their search first in the parking garage. The garage was virtually empty, except for two or three cars. “Max!” Susan exclaimed, rushing over to a beat up Cadillac.
“This is my uncle’s car!”
“Are you sure?”
Susan started to open the door and looked inside. “I’m positive!”
“I wonder what it’s doing here.” Max asked out loud.
“Maybe it’s none of your business.” Came a voice behind them.
Max and Susan turned around quickly and were faced with three large guys. “Hello, boys.” Max said, cordially. “Something we can help you with?”
“You can get away from that car, for one.” One gorilla said.
“It just so happens this is my uncle’s car.” Susan stated, not backing down.
“Perhaps I should handle this.” Max directed towards her.
“Oh, we know your uncle.” One man chuckled. “And if you don’t want to wind up the way he is, I say back away from that car.”
“What exactly are you trying to say?” Max asked, pointedly.
“Oh Max…” her voice trailed off, as it hit her that her uncle had met his maker, so to speak. He could tell she was about to lose her emotions.
That made Max furious. Not only had these guys supposedly killed her uncle, but to make the woman go on the verge of crying, that was the last straw.
“I warn you, gentlemen.” Max said, taking a step towards all three men. “This isn’t going to be pretty.”
The men look at him and one by one…punched him dead in the face. After the third punch, Max went down. The men looked at Max and then at 99. “I’m sure you won’t be here when we come back.” And with that, they left.